JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Hurricane season officially begins on June 1. You should check your auto and home insurance policies to make sure you know what is covered and what is not if a storm threatens our area. Here is a breakdown:
If you live in a flood zone, your mortgagee will require you to purchase flood insurance. Some policies may take 30 days to become active, so don’t delay.
Joe Carlucci of Brightway Insurance said the way flood insurance rates are now calculated has changed in the state of Florida.
He said that before, homes in the same flood zone typically paid the same premium of a few hundred dollars a year. But now, he said, each individual house is assessed, which means that even if you live in the same flood zone as your neighbor, you may have to pay more or less compared to the house next door. Rates are now customized based on the individual home, for example, elevation and how it was built.
This means that if you have an existing policy, don’t let it expire, the rates go up.
Some of the most common questions insurance agents receive during hurricane season relate to damage to trees or damage to shared homes, such as condos and apartments.
First, if a tree on your neighbor’s property falls and damages your fence or house, Carlucci said you’ll have to file a claim with your own insurance policy. Your neighbor’s policy will not cover the cost of repairs to your fence or house even if the tree was on your neighbor’s property.
If a pipe bursts in the condo above you and causes water damage to your home, you will need to file a claim with your homeowners insurance. Your neighbor’s policy will not cover this type of damage to your property.
Also, read your landlord’s policy carefully, it does not cover rising waters caused by storm surges. This coverage must be purchased separately through a flood insurance policy.
However, most policies cover rainwater damage if your roof is damaged in a storm.
Car insurance 101: Do you know your coverage?
Bodily Injury Protection: PIP
This provides limited protection by paying part of your medical bills if you are injured in a car accident.
Liability for property damage: PDL
This does not protect people, but property. This is coverage for damage you may cause to someone else’s car.
Complete car insurance
It covers damage caused by reasons other than an automobile collision such as:
A tree falls on your car
Damage caused by an animal
It covers damage caused by a collision involving your car and the car you hit.
Damage caused if you lose control and hit something or roll your car.
These policies vary in cost, the greater the coverage, the more expensive they are. Bottom line, the National Hurricane Center is planning a busy season, be prepared and know your coverage.
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